Any brand that operates multiple locations faces the compelling challenge of creating content that is more relevant and findable to local audiences. For instance, if you are a retailer with locations in Sao Paulo and New York, a winter-season promotion will occur at radically different times of the year in both locations. As I discuss in my new column for Search Engine Land, your local workforce can be incredibly valuable as you formulate location-aware content. Your local employees understands the nuances of communicating to their local markets better than anyone. My new column shares how brands can more effectively tap into the value of their local brand ambassadors. Check it out and let me know what you think.
When Google unleashed its Pigeon update months ago, my colleagues at SIM Partners and I agreed that it would take some time before we could assess Pigeon’s impact on brands. Since then, using the Velocity platform, we have researched its effect on clients and have learned that Pigeon has a number of implications for brands. Studying 5,000 location pages across several industries, we wanted to know how Pigeon affects crucial factors such as website traffic and ranking performance among businesses that depend on local listings. I discuss the results of our study in my new byline for Search Engine Land and encourage you to read our findings and let us know how Pigeon is affecting your brand. Read the article here!
Happy holidays and continued success in 2014 from all of us at SIM Partners.
Google recently announced that 50% of search queries on mobile devices are for local information; unfortunately, the tactics to convert traffic from these searches can be overwhelming to many business owners. One often overlooked tactic is to update the business’ core website using responsive design to deliver the information most frequently requested by customers when using mobile devices. Read more »
As smart phone usage continues to grow, the amount of apps that feature business data has exploded. From traditional local directory apps like Yelp and YP Mobile to apps that are inherently local like Foursquare and MapQuest to mega-popular apps like Facebook and Instagram that are making inroads in the local space, business information is appearing more frequently on more devices than ever before.
In order to better understand where these apps are sourcing this business information, we put together this infographic showing the top 23 apps by total historical downloads and showed who is supplying the data for each.
Wishing you all continued success in 2013, and a safe and Happy Holiday!!
- Jon, Adam, Jay & Neil
In keeping with our core value “Give Back” we often look for places where we can contribute back to the Chicago technology scene and were excited to sponsor a table at the 7th annual SmartBet.org charity poker game last night. This year it was located at the historic Chicago Cultural Center and over 200 players and two dozen technology companies working to raise $100,000 to benefit the following organizations:
i.c. Stars (a favorite of ours and a number of SIMs are alumni)
We sponsored a table there and were excited to cheer on Chris & Francois as they moved on to the 2nd round. Chris hung in there for some time but eventually went out, while Francois slowly and methodically built his chip stack to the point that he had an overwhelming chip lead by the time he reached the final table. Bullying the rest of the players he one by one knocked them out until he had captured the title for himself. Congrats to Francois!
Check out more pictures from the event here!
It was great being asked back to participate in David Mihm’s Local Search Ranking Factors. Another strong analysis from the top local minds, the survey is a must read for anybody looking for insight into how Google determines which businesses should rank.
Here are the top 10 overall factors:
- Physical Address in City of Search(PLACE PAGE)
- Proper Category Associations(PLACE PAGE)
- Proximity of Address to Centroid(PLACE PAGE)
- Domain Authority of Website(WEBSITE)
- Quantity of Structured Citations (IYPs, Data Aggregators)(OFF-SITE)
- City, State in Places Landing Page Title(WEBSITE)
- Quantity of Native Google Places Reviews (w/text)(REVIEWS)
- Quality/Authority of Structured Citations(OFF-SITE)
- Local Area Code on Place Page(PLACE PAGE)
- HTML NAP Matching Place Page NAP(WEBSITE)
Earlier today Google announced that the long awaited merger of Google+ and Google Places had begun. Over the next few days all Places page will be transitioned to the new Local Google+ Pages, making this the largest change to Google’s Local Listings since they merged the local and organic ranking algorithms in October, 2010.
An Overview of What Has Changed
Previously, a business’s information was housed on a Google Place page and appeared in the search results on Google.com and Google Maps. As of this morning, business information is being moved from Places into a new Local section of Google+. While the look of the local business page is different from Places, the information contained on the new Local Google+ page is exactly the same as the information on the Google Place page, with the addition of Zagat reviews for businesses that had existing Zagat reviews.
Read more »